PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – An aging bridge between New Hampshire and Maine that was closed after a malfunction will be demolished beginning next month.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery had been set to close in November. A new $172 million bridge is scheduled to open in September 2017.

The company building the new bridge says it will begin demolishing the old span in October. Officials say the demolition came earlier than anticipated but isn’t expected to change the project’s timeline.

The 76-year-old lift bridge, which carries the U.S. Route 1 Bypass across the state line, recently malfunctioned and became stuck. New Hampshire and Maine transportation officials decided to close the bridge permanently.

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